When Bob Prewitt made the first Muffler Man statue around 1962, he could not have imagined just how popular these statues would be and how many would be produced. Even today, 53 years later, there is still a big demand for these statues. However, the size and price of these statues might not be practical for most collectors of Americana. The statues are over 20 feet tall and sell for tens of thousands of dollars.
The first business to own a Muffler Man was the Lumberjack Café in Flagstaff, AZ. The statue was such a novelty and landmark for their business that a scaled-down souvenir version was made. These were sold at the restaurant and a former employee, who worked there in the 1960s, remembers them selling like hot cakes. It is not known what company produced these figures or how many were sold. Today, they are almost impossible to find.
A few years ago, Blue Ridge Models began selling Muffler Men model kits. These statues are available in two sizes: just over three inches tall and 12 inches tall. They come in Cowboy and Bunyan models, both requiring assembly and paint. These do-it-yourself statues are popular with model railroad builders and diorama makers. They appear to still be available on-line at a few hobby websites.
Recently, I became aware of some new Muffler Man figures, made in early 2015, that very closely resembles the one sold by the Lumberjack Café back in the 1960s. Scott Farmer, self-described as a human 3-D printer, is a sculptor who has created a few of these figures which he sells at his website, Sculpture Island. Farmer discovered Muffler Men a few years ago and has spent many hours researching their history at roadsideamerica.com and watching our American Giants episodes. He has produced seven different versions of the Paul Bunyan statues, including replicas of the statues in Elmsford NY, and Evergreen Park, IL Each statue is a hand painted resin cast of an original polymer clay sculpture. The statues are a little over 12 inches tall and come with either an axe or a muffler. These figures are the biggest and most elaborate pieces that he has made. You can purchase them through Scott’s stores at Etsy and eBay.